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Comp plan changes late to the state

The Port Orchard City Council voted unanimously last week to approve a six-month work plan that will be used to bring the city’s comprehensive plan into compliance with Washington state regulations.

“The Comprehensive Plan is a policy document that directs how growth and development will be handled (in a city or county),” said Port Orchard City Planner Joanne Long-Woods. “Development regulations, or ‘zoning codes,’ enforce the Comprehensive Plan.”

The deadline for turning in required amendments to the state was today, although Long-Woods said there was confusion as to what year the amendments were actually due.

“The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires that certain jurisdictions update their plan (every seven or ten years), and Kitsap County and all the cities within are required to meet a deadline,” she explained. “I’m not sure at this point what other jurisdictions are doing.”

According to Long-Woods, the city of Port Orchard was supposed to have made the amendments to its comp plan and turned them into the state by today, but due to its inability to meet the deadline because of a lack of staff, Long-Woods is turning in a rough draft of the city’s charted course to finish the plan amendments.

“We’ve notified the state of the current situation and they have

advised us to submit this draft list and work plan to them by the Dec. 1 deadline,” Long-Woods said.

The work plan includes detailed steps and suggested dates and projects the amendments will be finished by July 1.

In January, the Port Orchard Planning Commission and Growth Management Committee will work on reviewing existing conditions and documents to lay the foundation for an efficient update.

“It’s a rigorous schedule,” Long-Woods said.

Although the city will be six months late turning in the amendments, Long-Woods said she is not especially worried about any punishment from the state.

“At this point in time, I’m not sure (if the city will be punished),” Long-Woods said. “I have talked to the state office, and by the time anything could happen at the state level, we would have accomplished (the) work.”

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